Maryland AM headed for boat-only duopoly


When the sale for WEMD-AM Easton goes through, it will be in a duopoly in two unique ways, but if anybody wants to be able to flip back and forth between the two stations, they’ll have to go to considerable trouble to be able to do so.

The station is going from Alex Kolobielseki’s First Media Radio LLC to Radio Broadcast Communications Inc., headed by William B. Parris and Joseph Schweighardt.

The price will be $75K, with a $3K down payment, and additional $2K cash payment at closing and a $70K promissory note payable over a seven year term.

The station will be departing from its FM partner WCEI-FM, which stays with First Media. And it enters into a de facto duopoly with WYRE-AM Annapolis MD, which is owned by Bay Broadcasting Corporation and run by RBCI in an LMA.

However, the only area of overlap between the two stations is over the waters of the Chesapeake Bay – the stations are located on opposite shores. In the application, the parties requested a waiver of local multiple ownership rules “to the extent necessary” since the contour overlap is essentially worthless.

RBCI also owns WKHZ-AM Ocean City MD.

RBR-TVBR observation: We sincerely doubt that any waiver is needed for this pair to be co-owned even if they were operating from the same transmitter farm. There are so many signals blanketing the Chesapeake and surrounding areas from both Baltimore and Washington DC that the formation of a small AM-AM duopoly is easily supported under existing contour cluster rules.

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